Wonderstruck

Do you ever just see a beautiful stranger? Not just a stranger that looks nice, but a really beautiful stranger who just captures you with the way they look and the way they act and makes you think about them at 2 am. A beautiful stranger that leaves you wonder struck and makes you somehow want to see them again and be with them forever yet at the same time, make you want to stay away from them so they remain this mysterious beautiful person that's in the world that would never hurt you.
I should have gone with the latter.

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21. 21

Ethan's point of view

I'm chaperoning the dance. I'm kind of sad because I just have to stand there and watch Rosy with her date but I'm also pretty smug because I can keep an eye on them. I used to watch Twilight with other girls before Rosy and scoff at Edward for being so cheesy and protective. He just pissed me off. Now I am Edward Cullen. What a soul destroying thing to admit. 

We're here early before the pupils get here, all the chaperons. Then I see Rose's dad walk in and my heart drops more than it did when I realised I resembled a character from a werewolf-human-vampire love triangle. I try to avoid him but he spots me and walks over. I say every swear word imaginable in my head.

"Hello sir." I hold my hand out. 

He shakes it but there's a horrible, sinister mood about him. "Hello, Ethan. How are you finding your apprenticeship?" 

"Brilliant, thank you, sir. It's really rewarding and it's making me consider a career in schools."

He nods. "Yes, well apprentices have more of an opportunity of getting a job like that in this school. However, lots of other people who have been in your place have said the same thing. I hope you understand that."

I nod. "Of course."

"Are you having a nice time keeping a close eye on my daughter then?" 

I almost collapse. My eyes widen. "Sir, nothing like that is going on."

"Look, son, you're not friends with very good people." he says in a low voice. That isn't really true. I'm friends with Adam who is a bit of a lost cause but he isn't a bad person. He's friends with people who are involved with things like drugs and gangs and we all hang out sometimes but that doesn't change who I am. "You've got a criminal record." I stay silent. That is the truth. It was just me and Adam being stupid when we were fourteen, trying to hot-wire cars... and succeeding. But I've never done anything seriously bad with bad intentions. "And you've got a bad attitude." I don't have a bad attitude. I have an attitude that can be bad I guess, but I'm not a bad person. I don't talk back though. 

"Sir, there is nothing between your daughter and I." I tell him. "Honestly. There was barely anything to begin with, we never had real feelings for each other and as soon as you said it was over, it was over."

He raises an eyebrow. "What are your feelings for her now?"

"Nothing, really." I shrug and it feels bad to admit even though I know it's not true. 

He nods and walks away and I breathe out properly for the first time in a few minutes and then all the kids start piling in. They're stood with their dates in a queue. They walk in, have their picture taken and then come into the dance. Nicole is there with some footballer who is talking away but she looks pretty bored. I laugh a little. I've been hearing a lot about her thing with Adam. They're practically together, they just won't admit it to each other. 

Then Rose walks in with her date. He looks like a douchebag. Okay, that was unreasonable. He looks kinda nerdy to be honest. She looks beautiful. Really beautiful. I wish I was that guy. He can just be here with her and spend time with her. I doubt he knows how lucky he is. I think they're friends though because they're both talking away to each other and seem to be having a nice time. She catches my eye and gives a brief smile and I return it. 

I just stand there all night, doing whatever it is that chaperons do. I stand by the drinks table hoping that Rose will come over to get one so that I can speak to her for a moment. I always feel this undying need to talk to her or see her or just be with her. She's just such a beautiful person. She's so interesting and funny and great to be around. I just want to talk to her forever. After what seems like forever, she does come over.

"Hey." I say, looking around. Her dad is busy at the moment but we still have to be careful. 

She smiles but doesn't look at me. "Hey."

"You look beautiful." I say, keeping an eye on her dad still. 

She blushes. "Thanks. You don't look too bad yourself."

I laugh. "I want to get out of here so badly."

She smiles sadly. "We should be careful. I'll text you when I get home."

She wanders away without her dad noticing we ever spoke. 

Later on in the night, I see her over at the drinks table again when I'm not there. I can tell she's looking for me which makes me feel beyond flattered but I moved away so that we wouldn't talk again tonight. I don't want us to be seen together by her dad and to get into more trouble. 

Then I see a guy walk over to her. His name is Matt, he's a douchebag. Like that typical, pretentious, thinks-he's-the-best guy who will try anything with any girl. He was probably who wolf-whistled her that day on the field. He whispers in her ear which makes my skin crawl but I manage to contain myself. Don't get us into more trouble I think to myself over and over again. I see her tell him to go away and he steps closer, whispering to her again. I walk a little closer but still stay calm. On the outside. On the inside, I'm furious. She shakes her head, looking disgusted and walks out into the corridor. He follows. 

I try not to follow. I try so hard. I clench my fists, I look anywhere but the door, I think don't get us into more trouble over and over again but my mind prioritizes and Rose being okay so I hurry out to follow them. 

She's against the wall. He's keeping her there. I let all of my fury overcome me and all of a sudden, he's on the floor and I'm the one who put him there. I punch him again and then he leaps up, pushing me over and punching him. I forget where I am or who could be watch him and I smack him in the stomach when all of a sudden, Rose's voice breaks through. 

"Ethan!" she yelps. I frown, looking around and my heart drops. There aren't loads of people all around us, just Rose's dad. 

"Rose, go and sit in the car." he says in a low voice. 

She has tears and makeup streaming down her face. "Dad, no."

"Go!" he yells.

"No!" she screams back. 

He turns to me. "You said you had no feelings for her."

I'm trying not to cry. I've got us into so much trouble. "Sir, I wasn't lying."

"Then what happened here?!" he screams at me as that guy Matt gets taken away.

"Dad!" she yells desperately. "This isn't fair! I love him the way you love mum, why is that so hard to accept?" 

I look at her. She just said she loves me.

"He is not good for you, Rose." he says in a low voice to her. "Now get in the car."

"Rosy." I breath, rushing over to her. I take her face between my hands, wiping her tears with my thumbs. "Rosy, go home, alright? Just go home."

"I want to go with you." she sobs. "Please, Ethan, let me-"

"Shhh." I hush her, not telling her that I want that too. "Go to your dad's car. Now. Go Rosy."

Her face crumples but she takes a deep breath and then runs out of the door. Her dad looks at me. 

"Stay. Away. From her." he almost growls. 

I nod as he goes after her. I yell, kicking the wall. What have I done?

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